The NanoSafe™ framework was introduced in 2005 at the Second International Symposium on Nanotechnology and Occupational Health in Minneapolis following two years of research and development at nanomanufacturing facilities in southern Virginia. An article featured in EHS Today profiled the release. The framework provided the world’s first comprehensive strategy for minimizing the environmental health and safety (EHS) risks of engineered nanomaterials, and remains the only resource that considers the unique needs of small businesses and organizations with limited resources for implementing EHS programs.
A key element of the NanoSafe framework was that it called for open and transparent collaboration among members of the industrial, government, and academic sectors, and it helped accomplish precisely that. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (WWICS PEN) commissioned a report on the NanoSafe Framework, which was ultimately published as part of the International Council on Nanotechnology’s (ICON) GoodNanoGuide and in the book Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety: Risk, Regulation, and Management.
During its development, the NanoSafe framework led to new discoveries in nanotechnology EHS. An NSF program led to the identification of strategies for recovery and re-use of nanomanufacturing wastes. An Air Force program resulted in the development of a web-interfaced nanotechnology EHS guidance system (WINGS) to facilitate laboratory safety and nanomaterials acquisition. Voluntary studies with academic researchers resulted in some of the first published results describing fugitive emissions of nanoscale particles from nanomanufacturing, and the ecotoxicological impacts of nanomanufacturing wastes.
In 2007, NanoSafe was incorporated in Virginia as a member of the Virginia Tech Knowledge Works Business Accelerator. The company is headquartered in the award-winning Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.
Today, NanoSafe remains committed to the promise of sustainable nanotechnology. Since our inception, we have focused on taking a disciplined and rational scientific approach to understanding and managing nanotechnology EHS risks, and this guiding principle is at the core of every project we undertake.